Sunday, 29 October 2017

New Dean of Belfast

The Board of Nomination has approved the nomination of the Venerable Stephen Forde, Archdeacon of Dalriada, in the diocese of Connor, to be appointed to the Deanery of the Cathedral Church of Saint Anne, Belfast, on the resignation of the Very Reverend John Mann.


The Ven Stephen Forde, Rector of Larne and Inver with Glynn and Raloo, is a native of Rathfriland, County Down, and later lived in Downpatrick and attended Campbell College in Belfast.

He gained a degree in architecture at Edinburgh University before training in theology at the Church of Ireland Theology College, Dublin.

The Archdeacon was ordained in 1986 and was curate at St Mary's, Crumlin Road, Belfast, until 1989 when he was appointed Chaplain, or Dean of Residence, at the Queen's University of Belfast.

Furthermore, he was a minor canon of Belfast Cathedral, from 1989-91.

In 1995, he was appointed Rector of Booterstown and Mount Merrion in the diocese of Dublin, and during this time was Chaplain to UCD and Chaplain to Blackrock Clinic.

He returned to Connor in 1999 as Rector of Larne and Inver with Glynn and Raloo, and was appointed to the rural deanery of Carrickfergus in 2001.

The Archdeacon is married to Fiona, a staff nurse at Antrim Hospital. They have three children.

Friday, 27 October 2017

Potato Farls

Like Ulster potato bread or farls?

I devour it like nobody's business.

I came across this delightful video clip of Rosemary demonstrating how she makes it:-

Friday, 20 October 2017

Prince Charles in NI

THE PRINCE OF WALES is today visiting County Londonderry.

His Royal Highness is visiting Eglinton Community Centre and YMCA Londonderry to meet local residents, farmers and business owners affected by the flooding in August, and speak to volunteers, emergency services and officials assisting with clean-up efforts.

At Eglinton Community Centre HRH will meet local residents, some of whom remain in temporary housing, and the volunteers helping them to rebuild their homes.

Prince Charles will also speak with representatives from the emergency services, including local Police and Northern Ireland Fire and Rescue Service, and officials who continue to work on repairing the damage caused by the flooding.

The Eglinton Community Centre served as a place of refuge for those displaced by flooding and a coordination point for volunteers in the immediate aftermath of the storm.

HRH will then visit YMCA Londonderry, near Drumahoe, where he will meet representatives from the local farming community.

The Prince's Countryside Fund has partnered with Rural Support NI to offer Emergency Fund support to farm businesses in the area to assist with long-term recovery.

His Royal Highness will also speak with members of a multi-agency group who were also on standby for Storm Ophelia which struck Northern Ireland earlier this week.

The YMCA provides a valuable after-school programme and has a long tradition of offering team-based sports and fostering good community relations.

The Prince of Wales will view the YMCA's sports pitch, which was heavily damaged during the August flooding, and learn about the effect its loss has had on the local community.

Monday, 9 October 2017

Mount Stewart Visit

I spent a few hours yesterday afternoon at the National Trust's Mount Stewart estate on the Ards Peninsula, County Down.

My visit was timed to enable me to have a light lunch in the tearoom; and invariably I choose their soup.

The Bay Restaurant, as it's called, was doing good business, so I joined the queue and perused the chalkboard as I waited.

Potato and leek soup with wheaten bread was my choice.

It didn't seem to be seasoned much (which is fair enough), so I added adequate salt and pepper myself.

There was a sizeable boy or cub scout camp on the estate yesterday, by the way.

They had set up camp in the large overflow car-park field, at the far end.

After lunch I wandered in to the shop and had a quick look at the Christmas cards.

The Trust used to sell delightful cards which featured their big houses and parks, though I haven't been able to buy any like that for many years.

A pity, because nowadays I have to look elsewhere for my cards.

Thereafter I proceeded towards the Rose Garden and Dairy (both are closed for major restoration work), where I managed to catch an intriguing glance at the preparatory work in the garden.

Thence I walked through beautiful woodland, back to the mansion house gardens.

It's generally recognized that Mount Stewart has one of the finest gardens in the British Isles.

There's certainly still abundant autumnal colour in the flower-beds.

Before I motored home I went briefly into the charming village of Greyabbey.

Among other new shops, there's an Asian fusion kind of restaurant called "Tuk-Tuk", and they even have one of those Tuk-Tuk jalopies featured outside the porch.

Friday, 6 October 2017

Frieda the Warbler

Lately there have been several occasions when I've had visitors to Belmont GHQ and they missed me.

I happened to be upstairs at about 8pm last night when, on checking my emails, a pal advised me to check my door-bell.

Accordingly I went downstairs to the porch and depressed the button.

By Jove, NCS was right.

The door-bell or, to be more precise, the chimes weren't working.

There was a clicking noise coming from the chime box every time I pressed the door-bell button, though.

This morning I got to work (!), with step-ladder, cotton-bud, WD-40 oil and old cloth.

Now this contraption goes by the name of the Friedland Warbler Mark Two.

I proceeded to thump and agitate it; meddled with the spring and clapper, oiled it slightly; cleaned half a century of dust away.

It came to life again! The old girl is warbling away to her heart's content.

All visitors are forthwith apprised that there will be no need to thump the window or door.

Wednesday, 4 October 2017

Baron Carrickfergus in Belfast

THE DUKE OF CAMBRIDGE, Baron Carrickfergus, has today paid a visit to Belfast.

His Royal Highness visited Inspire, a charity and social enterprise which fosters wellbeing in Northern Ireland and Ireland.

HRH met mental health counsellors and service users before officially opening the charity's new offices.

Prince William then travelled to the historic Titanic Quarter to see the work of Lagan Search and Rescue lifeboat service.

His Royal Highness watched a live demonstration of a rescue mission in the Abercorn basin - which involved the deployment of a lifeboat, quayside response and rescue swimmers - before meeting a number of the volunteers.

One of the helicopters from the recently established Northern Ireland Air Ambulance service was parked alongside the harbour.

This evening Prince William will attend a dinner of the Irish Guards Association (Ulster Branch).